Alejandro Valdivia, a Season 11 contestant, will return to the MasterChef Season 12 kitchen on May 25, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET. The Primetime Emmy Award-winning show will star 20 MasterChef participants battling for a spot in the final round and a prize pool of $250,000.
The professional animal trainer became the first participant in season 11 to be saved after spending more than two seasons at the bottom. In the previous season of the show, he was ranked fourth.
Everything about Alejandro Valdivia
After growing up in a disadvantaged family in Cuba, Alejandro Valdivia immigrated to the United States.
Valdivia and his family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1994 when his mother won a visa lottery run by the US government. The family went to the new country after completing all of the paperwork, which took nearly a year and a half.
Valdivia's culinary adventures began when he relocated to Miami and began experimenting with various recipes. He said to Reporter Newspapers & Atlanta Intown:
“I was home most of the time by myself, and I would just watch cooking shows. And I tried to put dishes together with whatever we had in the refrigerator.”
After running the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta 11 years ago, he chose to relocate to Sandy Springs. He simply "fell in love with the food and the people" and chose to relocate his base and his personal animal trainer business, AV Dog Training.
Alejandro Valdivia in MasterChef
Valdivia's passion for cooking inspired him to compete in season 11 of the show, where his culinary skills wowed the judges.
Valdivia prepared fresh herb-crusted lamb chops for judges Aaron Sanchez, Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay, and Joe Bastianich in the first round.
The judges were so taken with the flavorful food that they handed him the apron right away. He was the first participant of the season to win an apron. He said:
“Here I come from Cuba, never been around this much food in my life. The colors, the smells. It’s unreal. It’s like you have this one chance and want to grab as much as you can.”
The chef describes himself as a "big meat guy" who enjoys cooking wild games such as duck, octopus, and venison.
He returned to his career as a professional animal trainer after his MasterChef stint and continued his culinary quest. He often posts images of mouthwatering dishes on his Instagram account, which currently has 8K followers.
In addition, the chef has appeared in the films Ultimate Beastmaster (2017) and Power (2014).
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Valdivia will be returning to the MasterChef kitchen on Wednesday, with other contestants, on Fox.
After the episode airs on the channel, it will also be available to watch on the network's website.
Season 12 is also available to watch live on Sling, DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, Philo, and YouTube TV.